By Linda Beer, Dean of Student Affairs

South Central College has made a renewed commitment to student success during the 2011-12 academic year. The Student Engagement Committee (formerly Retention) researched student engagement in regard to the enrollment management spectrum – considering student needs from the time of recruitment to graduation or transfer. The committee’s retreat in January helped compile an action plan for addressing student retention at SCC. In February 2012 a faculty forum was held on the Faribault campus to begin dialogue about providing an extraordinary education. Along with Connections articles and information presented at faculty/staff meetings, student success has come to the forefront of many discussions this past year.
SCC had the privilege of hosting a Student Success live broadcast during the April 6th faculty/staff workshop day. The ‘show’ was provided through the KEEP-M station - “home of the fighting black squirrels with all student success, all the time.” The team focused on student success, recognized many of the initiatives currently in place, and provided some information about best practices in student retention.
Faculty and staff participated in an activity that asked them to place a post-it or two along the enrollment management spectrum illustrating all the ways we currently connect with students and support their success. Some of the comments on the post-its included:

  • Academic rigor/high expectations
  • Care
  • Encouragement
  • Explain
  • Friendly
  • Helpful
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Listen
  • Model
  • Perseverance
  • Personal connections
  • Praise
  • Raise expectation
  • Sense of community
  • Support
  • Teach them real world skills
  • You matter!



Ask Anyone!
In an effort to create a connected college, SCC has become an ASK ANYONE College. Several faculty and staff had their photos taken in the ASK ANYONE photo booth, and ASK ANYONE buttons were distributed. The goal is to encourage students to ask questions – of anyone on campus – and SCC community members make the commitment to help the student access the appropriate resource.

Other highlights from April 6th:
• Current initiatives – Veterans Services, Student Society for Leadership
• Causes for leaving college – Academic Roots, Motivation Roots, Psychosocial Roots
• Creating a Connected College – environment is what we can affect
• Best Practices -- Strong Start, Clearly Marked Pathways, Integrated Support System, High Expectations and Intensive Student Engagement

Next steps to keep in mind for this coming year include:20120406_115014_opt• Ask Anyone Campaign – participation and training
• Student Engagement Committee Forums 2012-13 academic year will be topic-based sessions to provide SCC faculty/staff to be involved in student success discussion without the commitment of a year-long membership on a committee.
• Faculty Development Specialist – a new position at SCC to support faculty

In summary, 

Each of us make an impact – every day – in a student’s life.
Be deliberate in our connections and student success strategies
Make a commitment to create a more powerful “ASK ANYONE” network
Get involved in conversations on campus – attend events, topic-based forums, speak up about training needs - then participate in the training. Share what works for you.